A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With The Design Files' Founder + Editor Lucy Feagins!

Today we’re bringing you a ‘day in the life’ of someone we’re all very familiar with — The Design Files’ very own founder and editor Lucy Feagins!

Lucy started TDF as a ‘career-frustrated’ 27 year-old and in the 16 years since it’s blossomed into Australia’s go-to destination for design inspiration.

Below she shares an insight into her (very busy) day — although no two days are the same in this office!

Bea Taylor

Mornings start with a ride to school with Minnie!

‘It’s become such a nice way to start the day,’ says Lucy. ‘Minnie has become a great little cyclist, it’s really boosted her confidence.’

In The Design Files office kitchen!

Chats with our account manager Georgie about The Design Directory.

‘We just have the most amazing team and it’s no secret that I would actually have no idea how to run the business without them!’ says Lucy.

‘I think my favourite thing to do at work now involves looking into the future and asking myself “what’s next?”‘

— Lucy Feagins

Watch this space…

Lucy (and Gordy!) hang all of our art exhibitions in the TDF gallery under the office. Artwork by Maggie Green from our recent exhibition ‘Patterns of Country’, in partnership with Spinifex Hill Studio.

‘Patterns of Country’ by Maggie Green was an (almost) sell out show.

Bea Taylor
5th of April 2024

When Lucy Feagins started The Design Files in 2008, she was stylist, writer, art director and even occasionally, photographer — working past midnight and often in weekends to get everything done.

Now, with a team of eight working from TDF’s art-filled Collingwood headquarters, Lucy’s daily tasks look a bit different (and she’s no longer working until midnight… most of the time).

‘Five years ago I would have said that attending and styling shoots was one of my favourite parts of the job,’ she says. ‘But with some trepidation I handed it over to our very talented art director Annie Portelli, and I don’t miss it at all!’

Her role has shifted from ‘creating’ to ‘curating’, but you’ll still find her at the occasional photoshoot, or sourcing the perfect location for a shoot. If she’s not doing that then she might be hanging artwork in the gallery with her husband Gordy, or, most likely, meeting with clients, or brainstorming and planning new and exciting things for The Design Files.

If there’s one thing for certain, every morning she’ll bound into the office with an enthusiastic, ‘HEY legends!’.

Below she takes us through her ‘typical day’.

First Thing:

My alarm is usually set for 6am, and I snooze til 6.15am. Then I roll out of bed and brush my teeth immediately.

I am not naturally a ‘morning person’ but I will say that since quitting drinking three years ago, I function a lot better in the mornings than I used to.

What’s your morning routine?

I have a fickle relationship with exercise but since the start of this year I have been quite committed to exercising in the mornings. Three mornings a week I haul myself to my local gym and do a 45 minute weights workout from about 6.30am to 7.15am. I feel SO much better since I started doing this – mainly, I have a clearer head, am calmer and more patient, and make better decisions if I have done my morning workout.

After I get home it’s a quick shower, get dressed then I head to the kitchen to make my daughter’s school lunch which somehow has become my job exclusively. She only eats about five things so it’s not very difficult. At the same time I usually try to pack my own lunch for work, which will be either leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, or brown rice with tuna and salad plus some fruit.

After the food prep I head downstairs, dry my hair, do my makeup – sporadically yelling at Minnie to get ready, do her teeth,  put her shoes on etc. I aim to be out of the house by 8.30am to take her to school. (I’m always on school drop off because Gordy starts work around 8am most days).


Lately Minnie and I have been riding our bikes to school when the weather is good – it’s actually become such a nice way to start the day and Minnie has become a great little cyclist, it’s really boosted her confidence.

After I drop Minnie at her school by 9am, I’ll usually end up arriving at work about 9.20am.

What are generally the first few tasks of the day?

A good chat with the team, endless emails, checking and prioritising my massive rolling to-do list, which is on Trello.

Two mornings a week we have a big WIP meeting with the whole team. It’s always a great way to start the day and check in with everybody.


Most days I bring my lunch from home and eat it at my desk. I don’t often properly ‘stop’ at lunchtime, I’m usually writing/emailing whilst eating. It’s just a habit, I have this weird aversion to ‘wasting time’, even though I am probably getting very little accomplished whilst multi-tasking!

My current favourite lunch is one of those microwave brown rice bowls, with a heap of rocket, radish, cucumber, canned tuna and homemade vinaigrette. That may sound healthy but then I eat treats and chocolate all afternoon…


I honestly feel like 80 per cent of my day is spent emailing people. Other than that, afternoons may also involve client meetings (often via video call these days rather than in person), or having a casual discussion with my team, either chatting to our art director Annie about an upcoming photoshoot; chatting to our managing editor Bea about upcoming stories or shoots; or chatting to our advertising manager Chelsea and account manager Georgie about upcoming client work.

Oh, sometimes I have to record a podcast too! That’s always fun.


I finish work around 6pm.

I do a little dinner meal plan on the weekend for the week ahead because I hate coming home and finding nothing in the fridge for dinner (and I really hate Uber eats!).

Some of the meals on high rotation at home are homemade won ton soup; chicken stirfry; pasta with cherry tomatoes and bacon; roast chicken marylands with lemon and garlic. Gordy and I alternate cooking/putting Minnie to bed.

After dinner I always hop back online briefly to review and sign off the following day’s stories and social media content.

What do you do to unwind?

I am so bad at unwinding. I don’t really unwind on weeknights, I tinker on the internet until bedtime most nights.

One good thing I have been doing over the past year is using a social media blocker on my phone on week nights – otherwise I find myself doom-scrolling until midnight. I use an app called ‘Freedom’ that was recommended in the book Stolen Focus by Johann Hari, which I highly recommend if you’re wondering why you can’t concentrate on anything anymore.

How do you ‘switch off’?

If I need to calm my brain down after a stressful day at work, I do a yoga workout on the KIC app. I really like that app, it’s so accessible and body positive, I love it.

I aim to be in bed by 10pm.

And last of all, some tips and recommendations!

Right now I’m listening to… inadvertently, a lot of P!nk, Miley Cyrus and the Teeny Tiny Stevies. When you have an eight year-old at home, your Spotify becomes really compromised.

Watching… I don’t watch much TV at all and I don’t really watch movies either (I know, shocking!). It comes back to that weird aversion to ‘wasting time’… I can’t explain it, it’s a weird complex I have.

Reading (via audio book)…How to Lose Friends and Influence White People’ by Antoinette Latouff.

My productivity tool/tip is… Quit drinking alcohol. Or at least cut it out on weeknights. Seriously, you will not believe how much better your brain works. And nothing frees up literally hours in your week like being sober 100 per cent of the time!

A philosophy I live and work by is… If it is to be, it’s up to me.

Latest stories

Recent A Day In The Life